Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness departed the island on Tuesday, December 6 for a five-day visit to Washington, D.C to discuss improved security cooperation between the two countries. This is following an alarming number of transnational gangs wreaking havoc in the country through their influence.
As the Minister of Defense for Jamaica, PM Holness was also joined by the Commissioner of Police, Major General Anthony Anderson, where they will meet various security agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
Addressing the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum (PI-SF) in Washington D.C., the Prime Minister raised the issue of the growing threat of criminal gangs and organized transnational crime networks to that of national security, human rights, and democracy. He declared that Jamaica is not the only country being affected, whilst indicating that its Caribbean neighbour Haiti has been most impacted.
This forum is an international security platform that provides expertise and collaboration among Parliamentarians and government officials to increase the United States allies’ understanding of global threats. Representatives from more than 70 countries are scheduled to attend to discuss topics such as cybersecurity, human trafficking, and money laundering.
In tackling the growing crime rate in Jamaica, PM Holness has indicated his intent to work with the U.S. security and intelligence agencies where the country will benefit from enhanced capabilities to monitor and curtail crimes stemming from criminal organizations in the U.S.
The country will be governed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang in the Prime Minister’s absence.
A snippet of the PM Holness’ address to (PI-SF) can be watched below: